The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has laid out plans to “make the UK a more attractive place for business” today after a flurry of firms have ditched the UK in favour of foreign markets in recent months.
In its 12-month plan published this morning, the City watchdog said it had set out plans to achieve “better outcomes for consumers and markets” including reforms to the UK’s listing regime and an overhaul of consumer protections.
Under chief Nikhil Rathi, the FCA set out a three year strategy last year to become an “innovative, more assertive, more adaptive” regulator. Rathi said this morning that the latest 12 month strategy would feed into its three year vision and help “outcomes for consumers and markets”.
“We set out a bold vision last year of what we wanted the FCA to be, and we are well underway to achieving our objectives thanks to our talented colleagues and the better use of technology and data across our organisation,” he said.
The plans came as pressure builded on the regulator to reform the UK’s capital markets regime, after a number of firm’s snubbed London, including building supplier CRH and chipmaker Arm for rival New York.
The FCA said today that it will set out further proposals in the next year to reform the listing rules to “attract world leading firms and encourage competition”.
Asset management regulation and the quality of investment data have also been earmarked for overhaul as part of the reforms.
City firms have also been scrambling to fall in line with impending consumer regulation changes this year as the FCA’s new consumer duty comes into force. The change has proved contentious in some circles, with City minister Andrew Griffith reportedly criticising the plans for tangling firms up in unnecessary red tape.
The FCA said that the Duty would play a “leading role in meeting the FCA’s objective of putting consumers’ needs first”.
“The FCA has committed to providing additional resource to make sure the transition is smooth for both consumers and firms. Setting higher and clearer standards of consumer protection will not only benefit consumers,” the regulator said.